Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Olivia CHERONET

I am a post-doctoral researcher in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna, and the lab manager of Ron Pinhasi's ancient DNA lab. Following an undergraduate training in Paleobiology and a PhD in physical anthropology, I have a particular interest in using this knowledge to improve and optimise ancient DNA sampling methods, by making them more efficient and less destructive to invaluable archaeological skeletons.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Ron PINHASI

Deputy Head

Dr. Ron Pinhasi  is the Head of the Ancient DNA Lab. His research focuses on human evolution including fieldwork projects on the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in the Caucasus. He held an ERC Starting Grant project (2011-2015) that focused on human genetic history, migrations and admixture, and developed the widely-used ancient DNA optimisation method from the petrous bone.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Dominik HAGMANN

Dominik Hagmann is currently working on several projects primarily focusing on Roman archaeology in Austria and is a lecturer at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (University of Vienna). In 2022, he obtained a Ph.D. degree (with honors) from the University of Vienna (Doctoral School for Cultural and Historical Studies) on his thesis “Roman Rural Landscapes in Noricum. Archaeological Studies on Roman Settlements in the Hinterland of Northern Noricum.” As an archaeologist, Dominik focuses on provincial Roman studies in terms of settlement and landscape archaeology in Austria. He implements state-of-the-art digital and interdisciplinary methods into his research. He participated (partly a field director) in numerous field campaigns in Central and Southern Europe and the Middle East in the course of several third-party-funded international and national research projects.  

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Lumila Paula MENÉNDEZ

I am a biological anthropologist specialized in human evolution and biocultural diversity in the Americas. I was born in Argentina, where I also conducted my studies and most of my training. Currently, I am leading two projects, one funded by the German Foundation for Scientific Research (DFG), aims to study cranial variation in individuals from South America, for evaluating the role of evolutionary and ecological factors during the human diversification across the whole Holocene; and the other, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), points to validate virtual anthropology protocols for contributing in the forensic human identification in Mexico. To tackle these issues, I apply imagining techniques, geometric morphometrics methods, as well as multivariate statistics, and I work interdisciplinary collaborating with archaeologists, geneticists, forensic experts, biologists, linguists, and philosophers of science.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Jeannette BECKER

I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and especially interested in respiratory diseases in past populations, palaeopathology, evolutionary medicine and diseases in regard of the human life history. I received a BSc in Biology in 2017, followed by a MSc in 2021 from the University of Vienna. I completed my master’s degree in Anthropology where I investigated paranasal sinusitis and their relation to skeletal stress markers in human remains. In addition, I am currently studying medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, which I will complete in 2022.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Magdalena T. SRIENC-ŚCIESIEK

I am a PhD candidate and the Anthropology Lab Manager at the Austrian Archaeological Institute- Austrian Academy of Sciences. My doctoral research focuses on the early medieval Eastern Alpine region and will look at how the transitional period influenced health and diet as well as mobility in southern Austria and northern Slovenia. I am interested in palaeopathology and recreating the life history of individuals and communities.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Members

Brina ZAGORC

I am an archaeologist and currently a PhD student in Ron Pinhasi's Lab group. My research areas include studying relationships between and within past societies, and I am especially interested in the field of bioarchaeology of children. The main focus of my PhD project is to observe sex-specific variations in subadult health status during Antiquity and Early Medieval times. My work includes aDNA analysis and other bioarchaeological methods where I compare the occurrence of physiological stress indicators, and other paleopathological indicators of bad health, in relation to the biological sex of the studied individuals. This will help me address questions on upbringing, weaning patterns, and overall health of the subadult population in the past.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Elmira MOHANDESAN

I am a principal investigator at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (University of Vienna). My research interests mainly cover the topics related to population and conservation genomics, phylogenetics and animal domestication. Particularly, in my research group, we generate and analyze non-human paleogenomic data to address various evolutionary, and socio-cultural questions, many of which cannot be well-addressed by ancient DNA studies of humans alone. I have been working on ancient specimens from various species, such as human, cave bear, chimpanzee, iconic New Zealand Tuatara, Arabian camels and horses. In my current project, we are researching on the Palaeogenomics of Roman Equids, using a multidisciplinary approach.

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